Lately, it has seemed my life has been surrounded by storehouses. Saving up for this. Setting aside for that. Making room and cleaning out.
Malachi 3:10 offers these familiar words about the storehouse that wash over me every time I read them: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (NIV)
Last November, my husband, Steve, and I were sitting in our Sunday morning church service. I don’t remember what the Pastor was speaking about specifically, or even what was going on in my own personal little life at the time, but I distinctly remember being overwhelmed by the Presence of God telling me to begin doubling my tithe check each week. I was obedient to this urging –although, in all honesty, I didn’t tell my husband about it until months later– from that moment on. About six months later, right after Christmas and New Year’s had ticked off the calendar, is when my husband lost his job, and the floodgates of that storehouse did burst open and we were blessed in our faithfulness.
This is just a small sampling of how this scripture from Malachi effects me, but I can assure you that it is these seemingly small testimonies that act as the nudge when I am feeling greedy, or needy, or unappreciative for all He has done and is continually doing in this little life of mine and in all the lives around me. It is each of our jobs to store up for that rainy day when we are in need of a Holy flood!
This little book fits into the “Pay It Forward” category in our family. My father was given it several months ago by a new friend in a new city; then he passed it along to my mother and I, and now I would like to encourage you to pick it up (digitally or in hard copy, new or used, purchased at a real-life bookstore or online) and glean the lessons it has stored inside.
Published in 2004, authors Al Jandl (Pastor of Living Stones Church in Alvin, Texas) and Van Crouch (businessman and Christian motivator) pass on simple treasures of wisdom to help each of us live our lives by the God-given principles of money.
Before you glaze over, know that this isn’t a money-management book, it’s more of a life lessons book in how to live out the biblical principles of Malachi 3:10 (above). Here are some of my favorite points and highlights from the book:
- By teaching each of us to be more resourceful and responsible with our money is to remember that money is simply a tool.
- That peace is more important in the grand scheme of things than all the stuff in the world.
- That keeping up with the Joneses is a dangerous game to play with the talents and treasures God has given each of us.
- To “work smart instead of hard.”
- That building up a storehouse for the future of our children, our churches, our favorite charities and non-profit organizations, ensures the money God gives us is blessed to be a blessing for long-term goals.
“If Christians are going to change the world, we need to learn to think about our futures, the futures of our families, and the impact our churches will have in the times to come.” ~Jandl & Crouch
Handy woman DIY project
I have such a love and appreciation for the faith of children, and our youngest three kids really get this storehouse principle in a very cool kind of way.
Over the summer, our family took a trip that, for me, was a huge first: a true family vacation. You see, as I was growing up we had a running joke, “We don’t visit new cities, we move to them!” We traveled quite a bit, but it was usually to visit our extended family or some piggy-back family time alongside a business trip. (Mom & Dad, please forgive me if I am mis-remembering) This summer, however, Steve and I decided we wanted to take a true family vacation–not a trip to visit family and bunk on couches or in guest rooms, but a real family vacation where we pick a destination, travel, hotel, meals, the whole nine yards. I know this sounds so silly to so many of you, but truly to me this was a BIG deal!
There’s nothing sweeter than a home-made coffee can bank!
Our vacation took us to the heart of Missouri and it was amazing! We had all kinds of fun, saw some beautiful country, and mainly enjoyed spending true quality time together. (No, I’m not being facetious when I say “quality time”) We had such an amazing time, in fact, that after our trip the three kids put the storehouse principle to work in planning our second family vacation. They researched destinations, figured up how much money they would need to save for outings and meals, and they designed collection banks –Storehouses– toward our next family vacation. I am proud to say that this was not a passing fancy, either. It has now been four months since they created their storehouses, and even today I saw our oldest daughter put $8 into one of those banks!
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven–A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NASB)
Every moment of our lives has it’s own time and purpose under heaven!
Like many others, I have become quite obsessed with Pinterest…There I find neat quotes to send my husband like little love notes during the day, I find great holiday gift and decorating ideas, and I find loads of creative inspiration that remind me I am not creatively stagnant just because I’m a wife and a mother and an employee and so many other things to other people. AND, I find storehouses like this shadow box bank that I absolutely fell in love with! Because it’s such a fabulous idea and because it goes along with all we’re discussing today, I wanted to share this little design with you, as well. Now, go and DIY
Scriptures to bring it all home
Sunday, Faithfulness: 1 Chronicles 22:14, Hebrews 11:6, 2 Corinthians 5:7, James 2:26
Monday, Generosity: Deuteronomy 28:8, Luke 19:24-26, Hebrews 6:11-12
Tuesday, Abundance: Genesis 12:2-3, Luke 16:10-13, Ephesians 3:20, 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Wednesday, Seasons of Life: Genesis 41:33-36, Galatians 6:9-10, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:9
Thursday, Glory: Deuteronomy 8:18, Proverbs 6:6-11
Friday, Sowing & Reaping: Matthew 16:26, Luke 6:38, 1 Corinthians 9:5-8
Saturday, Rewards: Leviticus 26:3-13, Matthew 6:1-4
I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead!
Ahhh, such a relaxing anniversary weekend with my man!
Steve and I celebrated eight years of marriage this week, and even while away for the weekend (which we had to build up our storehouse to do!) I saw the impact of the blessings all around us.
We scored amazing deals on both our motel room and the theater production we saw the first night. Then, through my own form of passive-aggressive non-haggling, I was given about a 20% discount on a purse I was salivating over in this cute little downtown shop (this became my anniversary “gift” for the year). And, I don’t know about you, but when we go out of town we make sure we have enough money to each have a massage; so while I was on the massage table, I overheard our massage therapists talking about the package deal we had purchased and the extra herbal treatment they were throwing in for us “just because!”
The generosity and evidence of God’s favor in our lives are all around us. Sometimes we just forget to open our eyes and truly see. I want to encourage each of us to be women of vision! Envision how today can effect our tomorrows. Envision how our time and money could be doing more…sometimes by doing absolutely nothing in this moment. Envision the future, moving forward and not looking back at the past mistakes or even successes. Today is a new day, let’s move ahead!
Make it a great day,